Research programmes

The NIHR funds a range of programmes addressing a broad range of health priorities. Funding is based on the quality and relevance of the research to personal social services, public health and the NHS.

Calls are issued for:

  • commissioned research to address specific topic areas
  • researcher-led research to fund questions proposed directly by researchers
  • themed calls to meet an identified health challenge or government priority

Commissioned research

The following NIHR programmes announce calls for specific research topics:

Researcher-led research 

The NIHR supports high quality research proposals in all areas of health and social care research under the following programmes:

Themed calls

The NIHR occasionally launches themed calls in response to recognition of the need for an increase in research-based evidence in a particular topic. These topics are diverse and have included dementia, antimicrobial resistance, primary care interventions, surgery, long-term conditions in children and young people.

Read more (Excel spreadsheet): NIHR Themed Calls: past, present and planned

Timing of calls for proposals

Visit the Funding opportunities page for the latest NIHR calls for proposals.

Alternatively, subscribe to the monthly newsletter from the NIHR Central Commissioning Facility (CCF) or the programme bulletins from the NIHR Evaluation Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC).

Visit the NIHR Themed Calls website for details of open and scheduled themed calls.

What has already been funded?

Details of NIHR-funded research through the programmes can be found on the Ongoing research page.

Further information

The NIHR funding opportunities booklet describes the NIHR’s research programmes and career development opportunities available for researchers based in the NHS, universities and other organisations concerned with health, public health and social care.

NIHR briefing documents

3.1 Commissioned research programmes
3.2 Response mode research programmes